Miss America 2020 Judges & Hosts: Who Is on the Panel?

Miss America 2020

NBC/YouTube The "Miss America 2020" pageant airs Thursday, December 19 at 8 p.m. EST on NBC.

Miss America 2020 airs live tonight, December 19 at 8 p.m. EST/7 p.m. CST on NBC. This year’s judges include Superstore actress Lauren Ash, TV host Karamo Brown and musician Kelly Rowland. Kit Hoover and Mario Lopez of Access Hollywood will also host tonight’s competition.

The judges will rate the 51 candidates based on messages of female strength, independence and empowerment in the areas of scholarship, talent and social impact, according to Parade. After the judges narrow down the Top 15 to the final five contestants, each finalist will attempt to “wow” the judges with a pitch on why they deserve the crown. Based on their “pitch for the job,” the judges will then decide the winner and runners-up.

Miss New York Nia Franklin, who won the 2019 competition, will crown her successor once the winner of the 2020 contest is announced. Here’s what you need to know about the 2020 Miss America competition:

The Winner of the 2020 Miss America Event Will Become the New Face of the Organization

Once the winner of the 2020 pageant is announced, they become a full-time employee of the Miss America Organization. The new Miss America will then spend a year traveling the country, serving as a National Ambassador for the Children’s Miracle Network and developing her social impact initiative.

You can check out the full job description of Miss America below, courtesy of the organization’s website:

Miss America is full-time, paid contractual employee of MAO. The job is an exciting, fun, challenging Year of Service that requires energy, positivity, professionalism and courtesy while engaging in extensive travel, often logging 20,000 miles a month and at times changing locations every 8-24 hours, throughout the United States and, at times, to other countries. Working with the MAO staff that schedules and provides logistical, support and guidance, she uses her term to promote and market the program to her peers and the next generation of young women.

Miss America will work with the MAO team to develop goals and execute on tactics to advance her chosen Social Impact Initiative, setting metrics and developing partnerships which will show positive results at the end of her year. In addition, she also serves as the National Ambassador for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals; raising funds and awareness for families who otherwise would not be able to afford quality medical care in urgent circumstances.

According to NBC.com, the Miss America pageant follows “51 compelling candidates as they compete for life-changing scholarships to be used to continue their efforts toward community service and education. The show will continue to highlight a diverse group of young students and professionals who are advancing the message of female strength, independence and empowerment through their efforts in the areas of scholarship, talent and social impact.”

The Organization Has Evolved Significantly Over the Last Several Years

The Miss America Organization has been making some major changes to the competition over the last few years, including eliminating the swimsuit and evening gown competitions and refusing to call the event a “pageant.” The competition instead focuses on how the 2020 winner will “use her talents, passion, and ambition to perform the job of Miss America.”

“We are no longer a pageant. Miss America will represent a new generation of female leaders focused on scholarship, social impact, talent, and empowerment,” said Gretchen Carlson, Chair of the Board of Trustees, adding “We’re experiencing a cultural revolution in our country with women finding the courage to stand up and have their voices heard on many issues. Miss America is proud to evolve as an organization and join this empowerment movement.”

Tune in Thursday, December 19 at 8 p.m. EST to catch the 2020 Miss America Competition on NBC. In the meantime, check out this author’s profile for more entertainment news and TV coverage.

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